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The 2024 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck has been massively redesigned, and it’s ready for the outdoors

Can the new Honda Ridgeline compete with the Toyota Tacoma?

2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport parked on a road in a forest with two people walking away.
With each redesign, Honda’s midsized pickup truck becomes more truck-like and better suited to off-road adventures. The 2024 Ridgeline TrailSport model carries the flag for off-road readiness for the Honda small truck lineup.

The TrailSport adds steel underbody protection, all-terrain tires, and an off-road-tuned suspension. No one would, or should, take the TrailSport for technical rock crawling or full-out Baja-style desert racing. The TrailSport isn’t a sports truck, but it’s better than ever for getting a driver and up to four passengers with their equipment to off-road locations to enjoy outdoor sports and adventures.

2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSp.
Honda / Honda

New features for all 2024 Honda Ridgelines

One of the most notable signs that Honda shifted the Ridgeline’s styling closer to a truck-like identity is the large RIDGELINE stamped on the back of the tailgate. The Ridgeline has a unibody construction that is arguably less rugged than body-on-frame trucks, but the payoff, according to Honda, is a more comfortable ride with greater responsiveness. All Ridgeline models have a V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft of torque with a 9-speed automatic transmission and Honda’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel drive.

The Ridgeline doesn’t give up great advantage to other light trucks with its 1,583-pound payload and 5,000-pound towing capacity. The truck’s bed is 50 inches wide between the wheel wells and 64 inches long. If you drop the tailgate, the length extends to just over seven feet, sufficient to transport off-road bikes or plywood sheets. The truck bed is constructed of glass fiber-reinforced sheet molding compound (SMC) composite that resists scratches and dents, so you don’t need to apply or insert a bed liner. The Ridgeline bed also has a 7.3 cubic-foot lockable storage space under the bed, which is a valuable convenience in a pickup truck.

For 2024, Ridgelines have an upgraded 9-inch touchscreen infotainment center display with a faster processor than previous models. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, and the navigation system menus and graphics have been updated. The center console has a larger integrated armrest and storage capacity. The phone storage tray with Qi-compatible wireless charging is now large enough for two over-sized smartphones.

2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport interior front seat showing the seats and the dashboard with infotainment display and center console.
Honda / Honda

TrailSport-specific upgrades for weekend adventurers

The new Ridgeline TrailSport adds steel underbody protection for the truck’s oil pan and trail-ready all-terrain General Grabber A/T Sport 245/60R18 tires that Honda claims to remain quiet and comfortable driving on the pavement while significantly improving traction in dirt, sand, mud, snow, and rocky terrain.

The off-road-tuned suspension upgrade includes unique spring rates, damper valve tuning, and stabilizer bars to allow that suspension to move as necessary for rugged terrain without bouncing the vehicle and passengers around or interfering with handling.

The TrailSport has unique exterior styling, including a mesh-design grill, black door pillars, and black exterior mirror trim. The TrailSport has power folding mirrors if you need to tuck them in to get through tight spaces. There are also new 5-spoke 18-inch wheels and orange exterior TrailSport badges. The steering wheel, door panels, and seat inside the truck have orange stitching and ambient lighting.

2024 Honda Ridgeline TrailSport interior front seat showing the seats and the dashboard with infotainment display and center console.
Honda / Honda

Can the Ridgeline compete with the Ranger and other mid-size pickups?

Prospective buyers looking at mid-size trucks may prefer the unibody Ridgeline for its smoother and quieter ride compared to the traditional body-on-frame construction of its competition. The other mid-size trucks, including the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and Jeep Gladiator, can tow 1,500-to-2,700 pounds more than the Ridgeline’s 5,000-pound towing maximum. The Ridgeline and the 2024 Ranger are the only trucks in this class that can fit a full-size sheet of plywood lying flat between the wheel wells in the truck bed.

The Ridgeline TrailSport can’t compete with the off-road capabilities of Gladiator, but the TrailSport’s ruggedized features help the Ridgeline make a case for weekend adventures.

Truck owners are traditionally more loyal to brands than other vehicle types. Ford and Toyota truck owners are the most faithful to their brands. As Americans continue to favor SUVs and trucks over cars, the Ridgeline is more likely to attract first-time truck buyers than convert truck owners from other brands.

Ford has reported that over 80% of Ford Maverick buyers are first-truck purchasers. Ford’s small truck is enormously popular mainly because of its low $24,995 starting price, which lowers the cost barrier to buying a truck. Similarly, the Honda truck lowers the comfort barrier while looking more truck-like than the previous generation Ridgeline.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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